Do you have your scarves, hats, and boots ready to go? The start of winter is right around the corner! This year, on December 21st, we will celebrate the Winter Solstice, a day that marks the official start of the winter season. How do you plan to discuss the scientific impacts of this seasonal shift with your students?
The FREE Winter Solstice Toolkit from EducationCity offers a variety of resources to help you do just that, including an age-appropriate poster, Fact Sheets, and critical thinking tasks called ThinkIts specifically created to educate your pre-K through 6th grade students.
Winter brings more than just a change in attire. There are a variety of activities associated with this time of year, like skiing, ice skating, and snowshoeing, as well as significant meteorological changes. Help your youngest learners understand the impacts of this season by observing weather and temperature patterns throughout the winter months.
For older learners, the start of the winter season brings an opportunity to discuss shifts in the earth’s rotation and changes to daylight hours. Take time on this day in our meteorological calendar to explore the larger scientific meaning behind the Winter Solstice.
Want to learn more about the Winter Solstice? Take a look at these six facts you may not have known:
- The word solstice comes from the Latin words for “sun” and “to stand still.”
- The winter solstice occurs at a specific time of day. This year winter officially begins at 11:45 PM EST.
- During the winter solstice, the Northern Hemisphere is pointed at its furthest distance from the sun, bringing less light and colder temperatures.
- The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year—meaning the day with the least amount of daylight hours.
- After the solstice occurs, days grow longer north of the equator. This movement culminates on the longest day of the year, June 21st.
- Meteorologists consider December 1st the start of winter and March 1st the start of meteorological spring. That’s because December, January, and February are the coldest months of the year.
Incorporate Winter Solstice facts like these into your classroom lessons with these free resources from EducationCity! Looking for additional fun facts and classroom activities? Check out this article from the Farmer’s Almanac.